For Season 3 Episode 5 of Slingin it with QB Velocity we got a chance to speak to former Florida State and Auburn Offensive Lineman Wilson Bell.
He had a stellar career at Florida State and Auburn protecting some of the best quarterbacks in the nation. He helped the Seminoles win the 2013 National Championship with Jameis Winston. He was on the Bills for a short time and spent time playing Arena football for the Baltimore Brigade and the Jacksonville Sharks.
We talked about his love of the game, greatest Lineman to him, how it was like playing at Florida State, why he went to Auburn after Florida State, and why he decided to coach at Nichols College.
When did you first fall in love with football and why?
Oh man, OK so. When I was younger, I wanted to be next Michael Jordan. OK, I read all the Michael Jordan, all his books. You know, I lookED at all these highlight tapes like that's what's I'm gonna be. I'm gonna be a basketball player just like I just know that for a fact.
But I was always chubby kid, right? So, I'll just tell you the kid that looks like you will never play basketball. You need to focus on football. I don't know. I don't know what it seems inspirational or what but. Mostly gonna try it out. I was always taught.
Football is like a bunch of tough guys. That you know I'm saying so, but I went out and I sucked at it. I liked. I was just horrible at it like. I didn’t really have any like really natural talent or whatever I want.
Who supported you the most growing up?
Ah man a handful of people once, once I start taking it more seriously, people took me under their wing. You know you had guys like Joe Harris. You know my cousin, Demetrius Barnes. You know, even teachers like talking about Buchanan like a lot of people like 42.
You know they poured into me. They didn’t know what I was going to do. You know what I was going to come. And it was like this guy's passionate for this, so they kind of poured into me like our training like I'm in with my coach and he made me run around the field like everybody else is doing the actual football training.
They gave me 2 Hammers. This is like I ran swinging the same arm and the same leg. He was like take these, temporary tell you sweet his hammer moves this like remove that like you know, and I wanted to do that. So, like I got a good idea, got taken away and like watch me run another two miles. You know I'm saying that just around the field just so I can like at least to have that going for me.
You know I'm saying so. When you guys like that and I was blessed enough to have Chris Samuels, Chris was like that. He played like 10 to 15 years in that NFL for it. You know I'm saying for the Redskins. I think every major sports magazine that was because he was like the number one draft pick.
I'm coming out, he’s from my city, so he retired and decided to come back and give back. And of course, he turned to my school of all schools. God brought in my school of all school and he was like, I want to coach with his with his one of his best friends are Kelvin Sigler.
You know he wanted to best friend and like free of charge he bought us equipment, he brought his tools and of course he bought his knowledge. You know I'm saying like I have all coaches who want to come back. Even the o-line coach wants to come back and get back with you know. I'm saying so I don't know, he came to change the program he changed offices around the whole dynamic and I know I just all glory goes to him and he really likes shaking it be help me refine my skills almost you know.
What was your recruiting process like?
So, I was at one of these camps, you know. You know I started getting cloud. It seems to be getting power whatever so. I wanna say my junior year like junior going into the summer going into my junior year is when. Nothing much happened like junior going into my senior. That summer going into my senior I get a phone call, I get a phone call just like I played well, my journey or whatever. Played well, play with or whatever.
I get a phone call from West Kentucky. And he was like, hey Wilson, we have been watching your film, you know, change, like we think your good. All things quote, you know, saying you know we got a lot of guys on this team, not knowing what he's doing. You know, I'm saying that he was like, yeah, so we're going to give you a full scholarship. I flipped out throw my helmet crazy, it's like it's my first time. I said I was going to West Kentucky like I just did it.
That's where I'm going like because like growing up in Alabama, only place you have is the only thing that people like its showed often. Broadcast is Alabama State, Alabama and or UAB, that's the only broadcast. Like you go to UAB. You are that boy you're top dog. You know I'm saying nobody ever thinks outside of Alabama from Alabama so.
That's all, that's how it was, and they offer me, and I had my spring game. I did not know about the questions there so that Saturday after my spring game. I got like 15 almost from there too, like Memphis, Freaking Arkansas State. It just was loading up. You don't say ahead. Of course, you grow 5 inches whatever is going on. So, my colleagues know I had seventeen D1 offers.
After that. And that's when I went to UAB for a visit for like my third visit I was like I'm just going to run them out. You know, I'm saying I know where I'm going. I know I'm going with another option and at that time I was committed to UCF. So yeah, I'm like I'm going to UCF. You know, biggest offer and beautiful school. I loved it. You know it's beautiful. I'm going there.
I was Standing stone, something running this out. And that's when I get a call. I got a call from him. I knew Jeremy Pruitt from high school. I knew him in high school, he would come out all the time. You know he posted Alabama to have some time like elephants, not like before.
He's like, you know, I just got the defensive coordinator job, influencing all congratulated, like casually in graduation. Coach like him, so proud of you, man. You know you were charged for the installation. Do you? Did it? Yeah, you know we need to. I got a few guys. I can put you in contact with.
Crazy man, yeah, we want to offer you a full scholarship like too. Kidding me like Florida State must freaking you know I'm saying so. I have flipped out before. The longer they had told people like if Auburn offered I would stop. So don't care who offers me. I'm going to Auburn.
I have as I was saying this for longer than order was dragging their feet that with jeans is it was there dragging their feet.
For this afternoon to visit beautiful campus, beautiful school my yes. This may be forced off me. Of course, Ole Miss. All these schools offer. My freaking 17. I think I ended my recruiting. Count, or maybe like 45 schools you know. I'm saying 45 schools that I could've went to do it upper, so it was it went crazy after the boys get offers.
What is some of the advice that you would give the younger generation of lineman trying to grow their game?
Oh man, so then. You gotta understand like just like I was saying earlier. Power and technique you know. I'm saying reform, you're taking reforming your technique like start with that. Reforming it. Take me, like if somebody told you got tight hips do duck walks, losen your hips you know.If he's sitting near the TV with my legs open I go down to one leg out with watching the TV show go down one leg and hold it until the commercial then go down to the other leg holding to commercial. I did this for like hours flexible you know I'm going to flex my ankles I do whatever it took.
Become the best. Be so definitely stretching and working on things that people say you struggle with staying low whatever and of course like hit the weight room. Go hard in the weight room like you know you gotta be strong on the offensive line. It's just there's no way around it. You got to be strong. You are going against turn 250-pound guys and your under 250 pounds. Guys you talked about moving back and you can't even bench over 200 pounds like.
You must get stronger, such as finding somebody. Find somebody or a group that you look up to. You know I'm saying, find somebody that you look up to that like you can start like emulating it. Some reason that they are in the NFL. Even in college they're there for a reason. They did something right. Emulate those guys because you know. Then you might think you know everything, but they might teach you something. I learn something every time I watch a group, I learn something.
Every time I watch players you know. And most of all like the most important thing is like I know, it's a horrible time, Covid time or whatever. But you have to go to camp. So, camps are big, you gotta go to camps, go to as many camps as possible you can go too.
I'm saying you gotta get your name out there because you might be big time in your school but if you're not going to these camps are not going to come find you know I'm saying like you gotta put your name out there for them they know who you are.
Did you feel an extra sense of pressure playing at Florida State?
Ah man playing for Florida State. Well, I mean it was different. I enjoyed every moment of it to be honest with you. Home I think going to Florida State gave me opportunity to see like I think it's two different versions of college.
OK, so you got to college where it's like you knows for the TV the TV concept it's always party in school like footballers like that like the main sport on campus. And everybody's popping. You got the college. That's like, you know this is what caused this reality.
So, Florida State was like the react like the TV college. OK, so this is what it was but. I love that I love that moment and because the tradition that Florida State brought like you will see it on the field. Like you know I'm saying Chief Osceola are going on the field on experience. Draw all the fans like your going to cry.
I don't care who you are, tough you are, with all the fans are doing that. I'm out chopping as you run out on the field and then the fireworks going off. You see that spearhead on the ground you going to crack is like. Finally, I made it.
Just like you know like you thought you got like 100 people from on your back watch you, so it was just beautiful that beautiful experience and I've got the chance to play without a great athlete. So you know it doesn't get any better than that you know.
What was it like playing with the Heisman trophy winner?
Ah man, James is an unbelievable man like that date, like James got a bad rap sometimes because like who he was. His personality was naturally in a group, he was naturally a goofy guy. But the thing is when you won the Heisman, I guess you know being goofy is no longer accepted like there's no such thing as being in the group. So if he was any other regular college kid with that kind of the stuff.
Confuse them up like with a blue over urine sample because he was just because he was like the Heisman winner like they basically trying to take his personality away. Almost you know what I'm saying but like playing with him and just. You never worried athletically you never where we can be down 42.
40-20 game we really aren't that worried saying because we know like James is going to do something crazy to pull us out. You know I'm saying we just knew it; we just do it like you know. So we play some teams here like #2 or number #1 in the country but it's a team they go up by 28 they did all their trick plays. Then they have to play the real game and now you know.
It is amazing playing with that man. He was just an amazing athlete have an amazing IQ for football you just knew it. He just would keep you in the right place to make the right plays. So it was amazing playing with him.
Do you have a particular teammate that you loved playing with?
Ah man, I played with a lot you know, a lot of guys like I had a lot of rivals. You know I'm saying like I had a best friend. He's name was EJ like no, he's like my best friend for the longest time but he transferred to UConn.
Do they need to come in my mind and pretty much like rivals like you have got like the do you mean to Marcus Walker? You know I'm saying he played for the Broncos now but, meanwhile but we used to bump heads all the time, you know what I'm saying?
Because he was like; you know that guy coming out all coming out of high school whatever. And of course, you want the most with the accolades and everything so. It went on sometimes you know, so sometimes you would hear it. He will let you know when he's done, I'm saying.
By the time he got drafted with Kansas City Chiefs like. A monster defensive lineman like every bit of his power. We don't see him like that with everybody else's power. Like if he didn't want to move. You would just have to accept that he was going anywhere.
Just accept that he's done. It is what it is. And then. Other guy's older guys that I played with that I respected; you know Timmy Jernigan, Mario Edwards, Eddie Goldman, these guys are who like help me refine my craft. Like playing alongside them like DeMarcus Christmas. These are guys like. They helped me become a better athlete that I have become the best. I think that I did become at the time.
What was it like playing in the National Championship?
Different, you know, because Auburn is my number two school. You know, there's my number two school so you have the game like I hope I made the right decision. You know, I'm saying either I'm going to go home to celebrate or Im going to regret my choice. So you know that I was in the right position and they give me a ring or whatever. So, I was excited about that. You know I'm saying, like yeah, I'm not throwing it in their faces but it's like, yeah, I think I made the right choice. You know I'm saying so.
Do you have a favorite memory there other than the National Championship?
I'll say when we played Michigan, we played Michigan in the Orange Bowl. One of my last. Well, my last game for Florida State that was that was about like that was big. That was big time. Like I you know they were stacked like Sears. They were stacked in rubble in Charleston.
All guys like to get some of those guys. Man, it was just like whoa like I've never seen a team that was so stacked with athletes. You know you know I'm saying like. That was a big game. A game that I didn't play in was, with that like you know that I enjoyed was. You know that it was against Notre Dame it was like 2 seconds left and they called they blew the whistle.
A ref said it was like a freaking offensive pass interference called everything back that was a big game. And of course you play Miami in Florida you know come on you can't beat that. Like you pull up and they run against the bus, throw beer bottles like they hate you when you leave with the win. There is nothing better than leaving with the governor's arrival so.
Do you have like a funny story from the coaches or players with your time there?
Funny story. I was talking to one of my ex-teammates Josue Matias you know he's on. Next my side talking about today. I'm not going to say call anybody out for say. I'll just say that I'll say this. My offense lineman coach was a character.
You know I'm saying he was a character. He was accused of those guys man like. I don't know like he was thick skinned. He would force you to be thick skinned. You know some people that they are thick skinned. He's was a tough skinned guy. You don't have tough skin like you had a hard time, you going to feel like you are going out of you.
Got to leave school transfer or you were saying you stick it out and that's kind of that kind of guy was so. We were just we just going over certain stories at the daily like two nights ago. Just saying like how like if we put a camera in the meeting room, we would put him in a room and we got a chance to record everything that happened that meeting room.
We knew he would be fired, but we probably would've made a reality TV show out of it. He would come in and like you know, one guy I probably missed the block all practice. He's ****** about that one block trow the third monitor is like, oh, you guys are the worst offensive line ever.
Like everything like you know, close or whatever. He'd probably say something. Maybe 20 guys in the room. He would go around the room and say your not going to the league or your going to get cut. You're not going to league, this guy's not going, these guys like he might last two days but he's going to get cut.
This guy's going to get cut. You don't say you're going home at the football you'd like this the craziest things like you know what I'm saying. It's crazy like that. No, like you know, I think back and I'm like no, he really be getting in my head all the time. Like cause, it'll still tell you. Good job once a year.
Yeah OK, you will get that. Good job. You get that good job my OK I did this right I'm going to give me another one, you'll be fine like you get that good job. That'll be the last job you get all, OK. It is just crazy man. So, like I say about him so necessary not to call him out.
From my helmet, from helmet at home and thinking like. I just wanna go home. I was in full pads as a full pads cleats and I was like I imagine myself laying down in my bed. Full pads is like I gotta get away from this guy like he just. I just repaired it all the time and just everybody will go through the same thing.
We just set up freaking having freaked most no benching circle about it. You know I'm saying like how we just got checked that day. You get him saying so. I don't know man so, I don't want to call them out. There coaching still now but just know like that god man , like I can come up with 100 stories without calling him out but he's the person I will talk about.
What made you decide to go play at Auburn after your time at Florida State?
Going to school in Auburn was like one of those things like. I was ready to commit to a school in Florida. What's up the school? What school in Boca Raton? It was FAU and I was ready to commit to play there.
FAU going around and play for the guy that coached at Alabama and Southern Cal. And I feel like they had a good day going. I was going to going to feel knowing that ahead of alright close there whatever I was like because he actually paid under Trickett, you know I can't get away from this guy, but he played under Trickett so.
I was going to play for him and then God knows. Auburn hits me up and he's like you know, what is your dream school? Just come just come take a look at us like just give us a shot and take a visit. You know I'm saying like I'm clear, busy and just let us know what you think or whatever. So I came up there to get busy and they told me about the courses. I had on my national championship win ring on. OK He was sick, OK it is what it is sorry.
Progress yesterday will be. He was like, yeah, what do you think about school and I just fell in love with it all over again. You know I'm just like, This is why I really want to come here. I loved everything about harboring that local party until like 4. You know, I'm saying I like he was God fearing.
He just looked like a solid. He just likes all recruiting now is going to be online, coach new every day. It is no bother to the oline. Solid guys started settling close to it just like after like. If I would've went there for five years straight, I probably would be in the NFL right now.
I feel like they had a good form to go on your name saying with the strength training. We have down to go formula going whether he was winning or not they were great athletes for a reason your own saying so yeah.
How was the rivalry against Alabama like?
So, growing up I was an Alabama fan. You got to choose one of one of the other. There's no outside Alabama like you had to choose out of the two when I was growing up. Then I went out to aN Alabama camp and that's where maybe switch they're going to camp, and I had a little run in with a DB and other things and they kind of.
It's like now we get whatever, so I switched to tell you. But the rivalry was different. Maybe it was like. It was everything you thought it was going to be. You know what I'm saying like is it now that we don't have a professional team, so everybody is going to be people back home.
Posted everything in social media. You are they understand this stuff now. Like feedback phones like another Florida State. No playing against Florida, so that's cool. You know what I'm saying now is like people back home next to you understand item order. Those crazy big people hit you got like I better win It was crazy man.
Just like get a chance to go against like the dominant Alabama team that whoops up on everybody you know, going against that winning. You know, we won the game. It was just different man that that Bob in the locker room and it just doesn't get any better than that man. Just like at this point I'm thinking now I've never lost to rival team. Saying so. This is amazing.
What was one memory that really stuck with you at your time at Auburn?
I think the one memory that stuck with me it would be. You know this post game honestly. I have mostly, like most of the videos and post-game man just like. The five postgame Auburn was totally different about posting, like afford steak is like Florida State. It was almost like.
It was like we expected to win by 30. That was above, so we don't want that. We could have won the game played well, but we didn't win by 30. Like you know, everybody's past walking around the locker room during helmet like we depressed from adult. OK, we depressing when it was just like you went home and you just li